Kolkata (Calcutta)

Kolkata and Howrah (also written as Haora) straddle the Hooghly River, with Kolkata on the east side, and Howrah on the west. Across the Hooghly from Kolkata's old quarter, the Howrah district—which holds Kolkata's massive train station—is a constantly expanding suburb. On the eastern side of town is Salt Lake City, a planned, upscale residential community.

In Kolkata itself, the Howrah Bridge spills into Burra Bazaar, the vibrant wholesale-market area that anchors the city's commerce. North Kolkata includes Burra Bazaar and Kolkata University and extends to the distant neighborhood of Chitpur and the Jain Temple in Tala. The heart of Central Kolkata remains B. B. D. Bagh (Binoy Badal Dinesh Bagh, formerly Dalhousie Square), where commerce and government have been concentrated since British times. Central Kolkata also holds the expansive Maidan park, the crowded bazaar at New Market, and the upmarket shops and restaurants on Park Street. At the south end of the Maidan are the Victoria Memorial and Kolkata's racecourse. South Kolkata has the Kali Temple and the late Mother Teresa's hospice in Kalighat and the National Library and zoo in Alipore, a posh residential community. To the east of the city is the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass (known simply as "the bypass"), which links south Kolkata to the north. The expanding city now stretches well beyond the bypass, which is now lined with five-star hotels, exclusive condominiums, malls, and parks that overlook vast stretches of agricultural lands and fisheries. The Chinese settlement in Tangra, famed for its Indo-Chinese cuisine, is a popular dining destination.

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  • 1. Victoria Memorial

    Central Kolkata | Memorial/Monument/Tomb

    This massive, white marble monument was conceived in 1901 by Lord Curzon and built over a 20-year period. Designed in a mixture of Italian...Read More

  • 2. General Post Office

    Central Kolkata | Museum/Gallery

    Built in 1864 and still in use as Kolkata's main post office, this building's massive white Corinthian columns rest on the site of the original...Read More

  • 3. Town Hall

    North Kolkata | Museum/Gallery

    Built with Doric columns in 1813, Town Hall was where Europeans of British India met to socialize. After India's Independence, the structure...Read More

  • 4. Writers' Building

    Central Kolkata | Building/Architectural Site

    The original "writers" were the clerks of the British East India Company. Now a government office building, this dramatically baroque edifice...Read More

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